Friday, June 9, 2017

Sculptural reliefs galore at Borobudur! (Photo-essay)

If you've been regularly checking out this blog, you've seen my photos of the lower (and middle) sections of Borobudur.  You've also seen my snaps of its stupa-laden upper platforms.  Heck, you've additionally seen my photos of the volcano near this ancient site (which has threatened it and even covered it with ash from time to time), and its subsidiary temples of Candi Pawon and Candi Mendut!

But what you won't have seen in close-up until now are details of the sculptural reliefs that adorn the galleries of the walls on the majority of its rectangular platforms.  And, in all honesty, I would feel remiss if I didn't share my snaps of some of them on this blog too...

Just to be clear: these are the kind of sculptural reliefs I'm referring to...

So abundant are they that they can almost seem 
commonplace, at least at Borobudur

Force yourself to focus on a particular panel, though, 
and scenes such as this one showing 
a just-born Buddha will reveal themselves

Almost needless to say, there also are panels depicting
Buddha as an adult, and all serene 

Elephants and horses are worthy sculptural subjects 
along with humans and the Buddha

So are various sailing vessels of various sophistication

Not a sculptural relief but I'm going to throw in
this gargoyle just for the heck of it!

And lest there be any doubt: Of course 
Puppet Ponyo was at Borobudur with me! ;b


sarah bailey knight said...

Hi ytsl,

Wonderful photos of Borobudur. Borobudur is an amazing place and I think a place anyone interested in Buddhism,etc should try to/dream of visiting. Of course my favorite photo is the one with Puppet Ponyo. I was wondering if she was with you on this trip...though I couldn't imagine her being left at home.

Bill said...


Your excellent photos of these fascinating sculptural reliefs, for me, are like strolling through an outdoor museum in which each panel is a narrative from Buddhist history...I figured you had brought The Endearing One along on this trip. There she is in the bottom photo, beaming with the youth and pride we've come to expect from the poses you create for her.


YTSL said...

Hi sarah sbk --

At the risk of sounding sacrilegious: I don't think people need to be interested in Buddhism to find Borobudur fascinating and beautiful. For my part, I must admit to having been drawn most to it by its archaeological, aesthetic and artistic aspects and coming away with a greater appreciation of its cultural elements.

Hi Bill --

It did sometimes feel like one was strolling through an incredible outdoor museum while at Borobudur -- only, if anything, it was even better than being in a great museum! And I thank you and sarah sbk for sharing my Puppet Ponyo adoration, and enjoyment of seeing her posing in unlikely settings. :)